Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Persons residing legally in the Territory now have access to health care services at the lower category of fees following the amendment of the Hospital Regulations, 2015 by Minister of Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton.
The Minister for Health and Social Development amended the Hospital Regulations, 2015 which stated that persons were required to be living in the Virgin Islands for at least 10 years before qualifying for the concessionary fees that are applicable to Belongers and residents.
Minister Skelton explained that the new definition of 'resident' in the Hospital Regulations will provide wider access to essential health care services for short-term residents and their dependent children.
The Hospital (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 takes effect immediately. The amendment was published in the Gazette on May 26.
Minister Skelton said, "This is in keeping with the goals of the Virgin Islands National Health Policy, which promotes universal access to affordable, high quality health services for all the people of the Virgin Islands."
The Minister of Health and Social Development added that he has been closely monitoring the effects of the fee schedule that was introduced in January of this year, and had taken note of concerns expressed, particularly by persons without health insurance. He said while he acknowledged that the amendment would likely result in reduced revenue to the BVIHSA, the long-term costs to the health system and the wider economy would be significantly greater if access to affordable healthcare was restricted.
The Government continues to subsidise the cost of health services being delivered to uninsured residents who are 65 years and over, dependent children, persons in custody of the State, and indigent persons.
For more information on the BVI Health Services Authority's fee schedule, please telephone 852-7608 or 852-7583.